Friday, March 24, 2017

A Helpful Moment

I've been thinking a lot, lately, about how "helpfulness" has become a bit of a lost art. And now when I come across it, I'm completely blown away. This isn't about friendliness. I encounter friendly folks every day. But helpful, well, not as much.

My most recent encounter with helpfulness was when ordering a "get well" gift for a loved one who has been battling cancer. I remembered the beautiful packaging and the soothing herbal teas of The Queen's Teapothecary, based out of Colorado Springs, CO, and thought that would be just the thing. After I placed my order, I followed up with an email to the owner, Mandalyn King, to see if she would be willing to include a note in the package so that the recipient would know who the package came from.

Not only did Mandalyn agree with enthusiasm, she followed up with this:

Jen,

I've attached a picture of S___'s gift box, before it gets extra crinkle paper for protection. It's ready and will ship out today. I've added The Healer's Immunity blend, along with some handmade soap and a lavender sachet, as little gifts from me. I do hope this box will bring her strength and peace. :)
Get Well Package from The Queen's Teapothecary
 I was so touched by her empathy and generosity! The fact that she not only was happy to fulfill my request, but to take it a step further with her a few extra touches... Well, even now it leaves me nearly speechless. And so very grateful.

There are so many little things we can do to be helpful to those we interact with. These are some things I observed while travelling during the past 3 weeks:

  • Holding the door for the person coming in behind you
  • Walking someone toward or to the place they're looking for, rather than just pointing
  • Offering to hold someone's cup of coffee (or tea) while they put their suitcase in the overhead compartment
  • Reading a menu aloud for someone who can't find their reading glasses
  • Retrieving and returning something that another person dropped
These were all small things, but for the person on the receiving end, it just made their day. 

Thank you, Mandalyn, for making my day and my family's day. Your helpfulness is something I won't soon forget!

Some of my personal favorites from The Queen's Teapothecary:

Thursday, January 5, 2017

A Moment for Something New

I'm so in awe when someone I know takes a big risk and starts something new. It doesn't matter if it's the start of a home-based business, a new job, a new hobby or founding a new company. There is a level of daring and determination that is very rare.



This new year is full of new ventures that I'm excited to cheer on. First and foremost is the launch of my husband's shoe brands, Cords Footwear and Gigi Sandals. After working for action sports companies and leading their footwear teams for over a decade, now he's leading his own. It's something I've always known he could do, and he's doing it!


I'm also rooting for Teforia, whose tea infuser could very well change the way tea lovers brew their tea. While coffee drinkers have had a wide variety of brewing options (percolators, the delightful French press, the homely drip machine, espresso machines and now the Keurig and its iterations), when it comes to brewing tea, our options are rather limited: tea kettle, metal or glass infusers, or maybe a gaiwan, if you're a Gong Fu fighter.


Truth be told, I'm more than rooting for Teforia. I've been waiting on pins and needles for over a year to receive a Teforia tea infuser of my very own. I've been so geeky about it, I've had a place waiting for it in my home office.



That table. Right there. In between my great grandmother's chairs.

Finally, in the first week of December, Christmas came early. My infuser arrived! Unboxing and unwrapping each of the components was way more fun than it should have been, but I think it was the matter of anticipation. The set up was unexpectedly simple and straight-forward. I kept expecting there would be a hiccup of some kind, but there was no obstacle. I could get straight to the tea.




Along with the infuser came a sampler box of Teforia teas. Each one hand selected, each one programmed into the infuser app's "Tea Pantry" for the perfect infusion. That's one of the most magical parts of the process. Brewing one of the Teforia teas in the infuser guarantees that you will experience that tea exactly as it was intended - the perfect temperature, the perfect length of steeping, the perfect first sip.


For someone like me, who is a consummate over-steeper, this has been an amazing learning experience of what "good" tastes like. Now, my preferences being what they are, I'm looking forward to the next update of the app that will allow me to adjust the tea "recipes" to perhaps brew a little longer, a little shorter, etc.


One of my first infusions was Velvet Rubies, an incredibly smooth black tea that, on my first sip, had the lightest hint of stone fruit with a touch of caramel at the end. I was happy to find that each packet of Teforia tea allows for 2 infusions, and of course I immediately brewed round 2 when round 1 was done.


Building a new business, introducing something new to the marketplace is a huge challenge and a very personal commitment. I'm excited to watch these ventures and others that I see popping up around me. 


Who or what are you cheering for this year?